Rebels relief as SANZAAR delivers Taniela Tupou verdict


Taniela Tupou has been cleared to play for the Rebels in Fiji this weekend after SANZAAR opted to issue a warning and not a ban for his hit on Darcy Swain.

Tupou escaped onfield action from Angus Gardner and the TMO during the Brumbies win over the Rebels last weekend.

In the 65th minute a clearly fired up Tupou charged into a maul and left Swain on the ground in pain and gripping his shoulder.

Tupou was cited for contravening law 9.20: Dangerous play in a ruck or maul, but the Super Rugby Pacific Foul Play Review Committee decided the incident did not meet the red card threshold and he escaped with a warning.

In his finding, Foul Play Review Committee Chair Stephen Hardy ruled the following:

“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Harry Forrester, the Foul Play Review Committee found the foul play did not reach the red card threshold.

“With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a warning as it was close to, but did not reach the red card threshold.

“Fortunately, no head contact or significant injury resulted from the incident.  Had there been head contact and/or a more severe injury, the outcome may well have been a different one for the player.

Taniela Tupou. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

“In light of the above, the citing was dismissed with a warning sanction imposed on the player for the offence which will remain on the player’s record.

“The player is therefore free to resume playing.”

Meanwhile Blues player Adrian Choat, who was also cited, was also given a warning and is clear to play this weekend.

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